Thanksgiving Foods That Can Stain Your Smile

knoxville dentist dr. erpenbachAh, Thanksgiving. It’s a time for all of us to reflect on what we have, the people around us, and our health! It’s also a time to indulge in a heavy feast with friends and family. But all of us here at the dental office of Dr. Erpenbach want to remind you that some of those popular dishes you’ll see on the Thanksgiving table are not so great for your pearly whites. In fact, some of the foods will leave your teeth downright dingy if you’re not careful.

Protect your teeth from sources of Thanksgiving stains by limiting these foods and ingredients:

  • Balsamic Vinegar – For families that serve salad at the start of Thanksgiving meal, balsamic vinegar is often the dressing of choice, as it’s light enough to not fill you up before you get to the turkey. But just because it leaves little impact on your stomach doesn’t mean it won’t leave its mark on teeth.
  • Cranberry Sauce – While cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple, it takes a serious toll on your teeth. Not only from its dark red color, but because it is sugary and acidic. It can wear away at your enamel, so enjoy it in moderation.
  • Wine- Red wine is well-known for its tendency to stain teeth, but did you know that white wine can cause discoloration as well? Be careful with these and all other Thanksgiving drinks that are acidic, alcoholic, or dark in color.
  • Pie – While pumpkin pie is relatively good for your teeth, blueberry and cherry pie lead to discoloration. Like cranberry sauce, these desserts combine strong colors with acid and sugar, increasing the threat to stains.
  • Coffee – It’s common to serve coffee with Thanksgiving pie, but whether that coffee is decaf or regular, it can darken and discolor your teeth.

What? Hold the cranberry sauce? No way!

If you’re like so many of us who can’t give up some of these Thanksgiving staples, don’t worry! You can still have a delicious and full meal without sacrificing your clear, bright smile. The simplest way to do this is by drinking lots of water and swirl some of that water in your mouth periodically while eating these colorful foods. This washes most of the sugar and acid out of your mouth, preventing them from penetrating the enamel and changing the color for good.

You don’t have to give up your favorite foods, but if a discoloring food isn’t your favorite, it makes sense to skip it.

No matter how careful you are about avoiding discoloring foods and rinsing your mouth with water, there is always some risk that your teeth will be stained. When this happens, we’re happy to provide professional tooth whitening treatments.

Contact us today to make a New Year appointment — and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!